COURTESY WARNING: Many of my columns are meant to be humorous and entertaining. This is not one of those articles. My column today is intended to be a frank, life-saving article, and it includes adult topics that might be considered unpleasant and stressful as they relate to personal safety, injury, death, and homicide while involved with crowds of unknown individuals.
If you look carefully, you will always find some element of humor in anything I write, but there is not much of that today. I wanted to let you know in advance. If you feel the need to avoid the possibility of being exposed to tough-minded material, please feel free to stop reading now.
The Tacoma News Tribune published an announcement article on August 29, 2019, stating that the Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) security will be tight. (Click my link to review the full article.)
The City of Puyallup, the police, and fair officials have put a lot of thought into doing what they can to make visitors safer as they enjoy the annual fair. I compliment all concerned for the bulk of their efforts, decisions, and action steps. I am confident their efforts including more police officers, metal detectors, and other crime-fighting action steps will discourage many, but of course not all, evil doers from attending the fair with the intention of harming and killing innocent victims.
On the flip-side, the last sentence in the Tacoma News Tribune article promotes an environment that actually increases the possibility a fair visitor(s) will be injured or killed by a madman mass shooter, knife-wielder, or weapon handler. Even after passing through the metal detector to gain entrance to the fair, there are plenty of items inside the fair that can be used as weapons by a creative madman.
The last sentence in the TNT reads, “He also asks that visitors leave firearms at home. They are not permitted on the fairgrounds.”
Their policy and communication do not anger me. The fairgrounds management has the right to dictate a pretend, false-security Gun Free Zone. What this policy means is good guys will not have guns. Only bad guys will have weapons.
Having looked at both sides of this issue, all fair visitors should clearly understand an important concept that can make a difference in whether a fairgoer lives or dies. The Gun Free Zone means any law-abiding citizen, like me, will comply. I will not violate the rule set in place for the pretend false-security Gun Free Kill Zone. Why? Number 1: Because it is fair management’s right to demand that no one bring guns to the fairgrounds property. Number two: I do not wish to give on-duty law enforcement a hard time regarding my Second Amendment Right to possess and carry a firearm. Number three: During my police career it was like I had a round trip pass in and out of jails and prisons. Now that I am retired I can only earn a one way pass into jail by violating the Gun Free Zone policy.
That means I will not attend the fair with my firearm. I will not attend the fair with my wallet. I will not attend the fair at all even though I have been a fair visitor starting back in 1949. I love the Puyallup Fair. (I know, I know, the real name is Western Washington Fair.)
Fair management and law enforcement will have no trouble with me since I will comply with their short-sighted unrealistic policy. The Gun Free Zone forces me to avoid the fair.
While I appreciate all the extra law enforcement on duty at the fair, I clearly understand that unless law enforcement and fair management are prepared to provide me with a personally assigned armed police officer for every member of my fair visiting party, then law enforcement and fair management cannot guarantee our safety. That means we, as individuals, must assume responsibility for our own safety. To accomplish that we need to have our Second Amendment Rights restored by fair management. It makes sense for them to do so in that we are not criminals and should not be treated as criminals.
Clearly understand that while law enforcement will do their very best to protect all fair visitors, typically what police do in a majority of cases is react to life-threatening incidents after they are over, not prevent the incident. That means they will stand over our dead body while they record information in their official police notebook to write the official police report.
Know this for certain. I and others like me will not be there to make a difference in terms of whether you live or die. Even though I do not have a criminal background; even though I have possessed a Concealed Pistol Permit for decades; even though I have 25 years of law enforcement experience; even though I possess a retired law enforcement pistol permit in all 50 states; I and all other Second Amendment Rights qualified Americans will not be there to protect you from an attack. You are on your own. If attacked in a Gun Free Zone, you have no intelligent, efficient defense system.
When people die or are injured because a crazed criminal beats the fair’s security system you have to ask yourself, how much better would you have been if you or a total stranger qualified as a legal Second Amendment handgun carrier had been allowed to come to your defense before the police could arrive to help you?
Yes, law enforcement and fair management have increased security, but they have also placed you in a Gun Free kill zone.
The Gun Free Zone will make you feel good at the fair until you feel the penetrating impact of a crazed gunman’s bullet or the cold steel of his knife.
When the tragedy is over, everyone will be asking, how can this happen in a Gun Free Zone?
You might want to ask the officers and fair management if they are confident enough in their ability to protect fair visitors with a Gun Free Zone if they are willing to provide a multi-million dollar insurance policy in case of injury or death by a crazy Gun Free Zone killer.
Mass killers love what they think of as easy targets, soft targets, or sitting ducts found everywhere there is a Gun Free Zone.
The Western Washington Fair’s Gun Free Zone is perfect for any reject crazed human being with a desire to become infamous, a desire to achieve an award-winning body count, and a desire to commit suicide by cop.
As I sit here on September 2, 2019, tapping away on my laptop for this column which discusses safety and risk issues at our Puyallup Fair, my projections go live at the Michigan State Fair. One of my police information sources just reported that on September 2, 2019, violence exploded at the Minnesota State Fair to include multiple fights inside and in front of the fairgrounds, rioting, one woman near death after being run over by a car, and three fair goers injured by gunfire. (Click link Violence at Minnesota State Fair for more details.)
These incidents prove, once again, while there were lots of cops, law enforcement can never be everywhere at once, and they could not respond quickly enough to prevent any of these tragedies. In life and death situations, 30 seconds can make a difference. You may need to protect yourself right now rather than calling 911 and waiting for the police to arrive to help you.
I realize not everyone thinks like I do. The force that generates the concepts and opinions I am sharing with you relates to my life experiences and education. I understand most people are never the target of violence or homicide. That is a blessing.
Before becoming a police officer, as I grew up in a rough neighborhood, I was the victim of multiple assaults. While I am not big and tough, I was always a quick thinker in a tight spot, and I possessed tactics and training that typically surprised the criminal. Many of those who tried to assault me ended up seeking medical aid.
At ages 6, 13, and 21, and then later as a police officer in my 50s, I was the target of a possible or definite plan to make me the victim of a homicide. I have learned it is best to try to be tough to kill. Using my Second Amendments Rights helps with that goal.
Add to all my personal life experiences my 25 years of law enforcement observations and experiences, and hopefully, it is easier to understand why I think the way I do.
One of my law Lakewood law enforcement cases involved my fighting a man over his gun. I was able to calm him down and talk him down so that eventually he cooperated. It easily could have ended up with either of us being the victim of a homicide. When the trouble started, I was calmly prepared with two ways to kill the man to stop the fight to avoid injury or death.
While it is obvious that I support our right as Americans to benefit from our Second Amendment Rights, it should be noted that while I have had many cases as a police officer where I had all the slack out of my trigger, I have never fired a shot at a human being. My historical behavior supports the concept that we should only use a firearm when absolutely necessary. Conversely, if I wish to attend the Puyallup Fair, please do not strip me of my right to defend myself or others with my firearm.
If you choose to not spend any time carefully considering my message or if you do not agree with my thoughts and opinions regarding your personal safety and that of your friends and family, while in public places with large crowds, I easily understand. It is my personal opinion that if you choose to not consider my message, you may discover one day you have made a serious mistake. Of course, your right to ignore my message is supported by your freedom of choice.
Whatever you do, if you choose to wade into a large unknown crowd by attending the fair, do not make a second mistake by missing out on the Puyallup Fair’s strawberry scones.